There was certainly a different view of God prior to the 4th century. From the NT disciples up until just beyond the Nicean Creed, we see a belief of God that includes subordinationism. Basically the earliest writers of Christianity taught in the Father as "True God," while the Son and Spirit were also God since they derived their substance from Him. Though not equal as "True God," they are the only two who are equal in substance, thus they can rightfully be called "God." This is not some rogue writer whom the respected writers refuted. If that were the case, we could ignore him. But literally all of the writers (Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Origen, Tertullian, and more) wrote about God in this way. Most of the men writing this teaching were made saints later by the church. It's interesting that modern theology textbooks acknowledge that earlier "True God" Trinity orthodoxy is ignored in favor of the later "All are equal" Trinity orthodoxy... Oxford Dictionary: Teaching about the Godhead which regards either the Son as subordinate to the Father or the Holy Ghost as subordinate to both. It is a characteristic tendency in much of Christian teaching of the first three centuries...” (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 2nd ed., p. 1319) The Westminster Handbook to Patristic Theology: SUBORDINATIONISM. The term is a common retrospective concept used to denote theologians of the early church who affirmed the divinity of the Son or Spirit of God, but conceived it somehow as a lesser form of divinity than that of the Father. It is a modern concept that is so vague that is that it [modern theology] does not illuminate much of the theology of the pre-Nicene teachers, where a subordinationist presupposition was widely and unreflectively shared. (p. 321) The New Catholic Encyclopedia has the following to say on the origins of the concept of Trinity: "The formulation 'One God in 3 Persons' was not solidly established, certainly not fully fully assimilated into Christian life and its profession of faith, prior to the end of the 4th century. But it is precisely this formulation that has first claim to the title 'the Trinitarian dogma'. Among the Apostolic Fathers, there had been nothing even remotely approaching such a mentality or perspective." (1967 edition, volume 14, p. 299) "With the exception of Athanasius, virtually every theologian, East and West, accepted some form of subordinationism at least up to the year 355; subordinationism might indeed, until the denouement of the controversy, have been described as accepted orthodoxy." (R.P.C. Hanson 1988. The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God: The Arian Controversy, 318-381, p.xix.) The quote above is mistaken in regards to Athanasius, but the point is still made. There was a clearly different Trinity theology for the first three centuries of Christianity. Yet it is virtually ignored today. This is different from Arianism, as Arius believed the Son was created out of nothing. The earliest Trinitarians believed that the Son and Spirit were both eternal and yet had a beginning when they were brought forth from the literal substance of God. How is it that such a pervasive teaching was all but abandoned after 300 years?